Spirit of Witness (John 17:1-11)

This is Memorial Day weekend.  You may remember that Memorial Day began as a day called Decoration Day.  On Decoration Day, in decades and centuries past, beginning officially with the civil war, but probably going much further back than that, the graves of soldiers who had perished in combat were covered in wreaths and flowers by their loved ones.

Our God is with us when we mourn, and it is God who places within each of us the resurrection hope that we so need.  God did not steal the lives of those soldiers who perished in battle.  But God placed within each of us, all of us, the desire to respond to loss with life and love.  It is maybe the most remarkable aspect of our humanity that we have the ability to look tragedy in the face and say, “No.  You, death, you loss, do not have the last word.”  And so we decorate graves with blossoms.

“In St. Louis, the pastor of Pilgrim Congregational Church, the Reverend Truman Douglass, had started a Bible study where he and other men spent their time studying Christian Unity.  Reverend Douglass invited a friend of his, the Dean of Eden Seminary, Reverend Dr. S. D. Press.  Douglass was a Congregational Christian, Press a leader in the Evangelical and Reformed Church, but in the parlor of Pilgrim Congregational, they began to see themselves simply as Christians committed to the unity of Christ’s body.

In the midst of a society committed to division–hardening divisions between the races, growing divisions between generations, and deep distrust between denominations–they began to imagine a path toward greater Christian unity.  It was out of these Bible studies that Dr. Press and Reverend Douglass began to dream of the United Church of Christ.  And it was because of  their dedication and commitment to Christian unity that the denomination we know and love as the United Church of Christ was formed in 1957.”*

On this Decoration Day, we remember all who have died in wartime.  And on this Decoration Day, we give thanks for the United Church of Christ, a flower that grew from the graves of tragedy, a blossom that signaled “no” to violence, division and death.

*Connelly, Reverend Tyler.  “Dream Christ’s Dream:  Sermon by Reverend Tyler Connelly for the Central Pacific Conference Annual Gathering 2019.”

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St. John’s Closed Through the End of May

Due to the coronavirus, services, as well as all church activities, are cancelled through the end of May

Please contact the church office at 419-358-5641 if you have concerns.  Please leave a message if no one is available, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.

Thank you!

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This Week at St. John’s UCC

To comply with Ohio’s COVID-19 request to shelter in place, there will be no worship services at St. John’s UCC through the month of April.

Stay safe and well.

 

 

 

 

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Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen

If you would like to volunteer for helping serve at Our Daily Bread soup kitchen in Lima on Tuesday,  March 24, 2020,  please sign up on the bulletin board in the sanctuary.  Helpers are always welcome.

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Facebook Page

You are missing out on a super way to advertise our church if you are not sharing with many of your other Facebook friends St. John’s Facebook page.  There are many interesting articles posted every day.  “Friend” all of your friends and ask them to “Like” the St. John’s page–let’s let people know we are here, alive, and moving forward!

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St Johns Snow

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This website can now be found at www.blufftonstjohns.com!

In an effort to make this site easier for you to access, it can now be found at www.blufftonstjohns.com!  You can still find this page using the old web address, but now it will be easier to tell family and friends where they can find up-to-date news about St. John’s UCC in Bluffton, Ohio.

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